IF YOU DIDN’T LAUGH YOU’D CRY ...

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josie andrews
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IF YOU DIDN’T LAUGH YOU’D CRY ...

Post by josie andrews » Wed Nov 18, 2020 8:18 am

IF YOU DIDN’T LAUGH YOU’D CRY ... by Publisher, Danny Lockwood

THERE is very little about the Betfred Super League that brings a smile to my face at the moment. I couldn’t say ‘about Rugby League’ – the sport we all love – because apart from the well-meaning (but not very important) flim-flam of chairman Simon Johnson and CEO Ralph Rimmer, there actually isn’t any RL to talk about.

The Greeks had tragi-comedy off to a better ‘t’ than even Super League’s Robert Elstone and his back-stabbing powermongers can aspire to. The ‘et tu Brutus’ daggers of the desperate and ineffectual SL club chairmen have been hovering over Elstone’s back for quite some time – yes, even before the March lockdown, when the world lost its collective mind, and when the social glue that is sport was sacrificed almost to the extent of the hospitality sector. Tick-tock, tick-tock Rob, old boy.

The sport’s erstwhile pantomime villain Nigel Wood knew Elstone’s chalice was poisoned
when he accepted the inevitable almost three years ago, ousted ultimately by the vanity of a cabal of egotistical chairmen. They knew Nigel ran a damn tight ship, but they were greedy – sod the Championship and League 1, sod the RFL, “we’re the sport’s Premier League!” (despite some Premier League players making more money than an entire Super League club – or three – turns over per annum).

They convinced themselves that a still minor sport could afford to run two ridiculously expensive (and unnecessary) central executives. The sheepish smaller club chairmen tagged on behind, greedy for the promised crumbs from a non-existent table, trotting willingly towards the van for the abattoir – all except the redoubtable Gary Hetherington, as usual.

It was unrealistic when they brought Elstone in at a salary far in excess of Wood and Rimmer’s combined, and it is still less now. The forthcoming Sky tv deal-or-no-deal, take-it or leave-it offer, will break the Super League you see today. Do not doubt it.

It was former Salford owner Marwan Koukash who famously questioned the record-breaking £200 million Sky deal that Nigel Wood last brought to the table, and which was ravenously gorged upon by the SL chairmen at the time. The mad doc thought BT would bid higher, given their then acquisitive regard to sporting tv rights.

I don’t know if the doc’s realised, but most sporting administrators now have – that bidding war died a long time ago. There’s plenty of Premier and European football, elite rugby union, and global cricket to go round. No one would utter the word ‘cartel’ in public, but that’s the de facto gentlemen’s agreement now in place amongst the broadcasters.

As for parochial little rugby league (small ‘r’, small ‘l’)? Nice filler programming for shitty Thursday nights, or late evening Sundays suddenly (which kills not just trade newspapers but mainstream press coverage, such as it remains). Fine, but worthy of another long-term nine-figure broadcasting deal from Sky, the only realistic players in the game? Good luck with that Robert.

SO WHAT could possibly have brought a smile to my face in such dire times? After all I still have no idea if League Weekly will ever return, especially in the fashion we published more than eight months ago?

Why, the wonderfully contrived expulsion of Toronto Wolfpack – far from funny in itself, and properly tragic in fact – but more the idea that Toulouse Olympique could fill the 12th seat at the Super League table.

Someone is having a right giraffe (laugh) at our expense. To borrow some social media shorthand, ffs, folks.

Toulouse? Really – really – you would have been 10-times better keeping the Wolfpack.
I won’t drag you all the way back to 1996 and the folly of Paris St Germain, but my, was that an exercise in blind hope over business sense. More importantly, what lessons were learned? None, clearly. For now let’s just stay with Catalans Dragons, quite possible impending Grand Finalists in this basket-case of a supposed season.

Their boss Bernard Guasch deserves the statue that will no doubt be raised to him in Perpignan, because he’s played a blinder, bringing fortunes of overseas money into the city … and giving exactly sod-all back to the sport.

Someone remind me, where are France in the international rankings? Tenth or so? Remember when they were World Cup finalists? That’s what the Catalans gig – extravagantly supported by Super League by the way, which Toronto never was – was going to bring to the party. A super-strong French national team. Priority 1. And after all the money Catalans Dragons have drained from the sport, the club is still an ever-changing outfit of overseas mercenaries.

Secondly, Catalans would tap into the lucrative French sports tv market, enriching the mutual product. That went well, didn’t it?

For the ignorant (which on this occasion may well include otherwise enlightened Super League bosses) if Canal+ offered Catalans the price of une biere to televise their games, the French RFU would likely refuse to let them tend again. You think Twickenham has a beef with us? That’s like saying Brussels has a problem with Boris Johnson. They’d bite their own faces off before they give League the stink off their shit – and they are in the driving seat where French broadcasting is concerned.

So the smiling fools who think that adding Toulouse to the Super League mix would double those odds simply don’t understand – they’d be halving them. Toulouse Olympique to Toulouse RU is literally like Stanningley ARLFC to Leeds Rhinos, with no offence to Stanningley.

It’s less a more compelling offer and more a massive offence to the dominant French rugby code.

As such there’s no need to mention the fact that Toulouse would bring zero fans over here, and any traveling British fans would further dilute the available spend for domestic events such as Magic or Wembley. A second French team in Super League only makes sense if you’re talking global footprint and international expansion – and clearly Super League is doing anything except that, given the rejection of a foothold in the immense north American market.

I can only think that barely a person who voted at that Super League table went and saw the Toronto match-day experience first-hand. It is sensational. I understand that Elstone did, but I also suspect that he has Ian Lenagan’s hand so far up his arse that he has to ask permission to use the toilet.

Indeed, staying with the television rights theme, much was made of the lack of added-value Toronto were going to bring in the short term. What a judge and jury to have decide your fate – and before you’ve even had chance to host a single Super League game. That is abominable. Abominable but predictable.
If I laughed at the Toulouse idea, I certainly wasn’t laughing when Super League chairmen lined up to ridicule the due-diligence carried out when Toronto were originally allowed into the bottom tier of the semi-professional game. As history shows, happy with that challenge they duly paid and played their way through to the elite competition. Even in the Championship they had a bigger home crowd than most Super League clubs and they were going in only one direction. Ultimately, I feel far less that David Argyle ran out of money, than he saw the jealous and spiteful writing on the wall and was too proud to beg for the crumbs from their table.

And as to the snide aspersion towards the RFL of no due diligence? Really? History re-written again. The business plan was examined, scrutinised, questioned and debated. And the result? A unanimous vote to accept Toronto Wolfpack into the structure which could lead them into Super League. That’s what.

Whatever the realpolitik of the admittedly vainglorious David Argyle’s flights of financial fantasy, Toronto were shat upon from a great height as clubs re-wrote very recent history with breath-taking hypocrisy, all the while trying to climb over each other’s sinking bodies.

Our fantastic sport is floundering in a self-mocking swamp of increased obscurity, dragged down by a bunch of largely incompetent and self-interested Super League club owners.
They will hopefully get their due desserts. I pray that the great sport of Rugby League (cap ‘R’, cap ‘L’) proves once again its rugged durability.

https://www.facebook.com/LeagueWeekly/p ... 0881952752
Anyone can support a team when it is winning, that takes no courage.
But to stand behind a team, to defend a team when it is down and really needs you,
that takes a lot of courage.

Caboosegg
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Re: IF YOU DIDN’T LAUGH YOU’D CRY ...

Post by Caboosegg » Wed Nov 18, 2020 8:57 am

Nigel Wood effective.... come on.

And slagging off chairmen who plunge there own money into clubs to allow them to Survive
The Turkeys voted for Christmas.

A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves and traitors are not victims... but accomplices

George Orwell

josie andrews
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Re: IF YOU DIDN’T LAUGH YOU’D CRY ...

Post by josie andrews » Wed Nov 18, 2020 9:18 am

Caboosegg wrote:
Wed Nov 18, 2020 8:57 am
Nigel Wood effective.... come on.

And slagging off chairmen who plunge there own money into clubs to allow them to Survive
Exactly! Don’t like this reporter anyway!
Anyone can support a team when it is winning, that takes no courage.
But to stand behind a team, to defend a team when it is down and really needs you,
that takes a lot of courage.

jobo
Posts: 3110
Joined: Sun Oct 27, 2002 1:33 pm

Re: IF YOU DIDN’T LAUGH YOU’D CRY ...

Post by jobo » Wed Nov 18, 2020 10:33 am

Caboosegg wrote:
Wed Nov 18, 2020 8:57 am
Nigel Wood effective.... come on.

And slagging off chairmen who plunge there own money into clubs to allow them to Survive
It's credited to Danny Lockwood, well known ranter.

Love how he exonerates that other well known ranter, Uncle Gary 😂😂

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wigtop
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Re: IF YOU DIDN’T LAUGH YOU’D CRY ...

Post by wigtop » Wed Nov 18, 2020 12:30 pm

Very Bitter. (capital B). pun intended. What a misery Lockwood is!

morley pie eater
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Re: IF YOU DIDN’T LAUGH YOU’D CRY ...

Post by morley pie eater » Wed Nov 18, 2020 12:35 pm

Lockwood was founder/owner/editor-in-chief of a number of local papers in the area I live in. All are now defunct, so he knows what he's talking about when it comes to sinking ships.
Sign the change.org petition to recognise Roy Francis' contribution to RL at
http://chng.it/yCZJsNtg

keptinthedarkfans
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Re: IF YOU DIDN’T LAUGH YOU’D CRY ...

Post by keptinthedarkfans » Wed Nov 18, 2020 12:54 pm

morley pie eater wrote:
Wed Nov 18, 2020 12:35 pm
Lockwood was founder/owner/editor-in-chief of a number of local papers in the area I live in. All are now defunct, so he knows what he's talking about when it comes to sinking ships.
That's not surprising if his papers printed same self opinionated shit as this. the man is a D**K with a capital D.

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